The Australian Cricket Board and Players Union have signed a multi-year license agreement to issue NFTs (non-fungible tokens) as they seek to tap into the digital collectibles market.
NFTs are digital assets, often linked to an image, video or audio clip, whose ownership is authenticated by blockchain technology.
Professional sports leagues and teams, including the National Basketball Association and the German Bundesliga, have invested in the sector to generate new revenue streams from fans and paying investors.
The cricket deal, in partnership with Rario and digital trading firm BlockTrust, will pave the way for fans to purchase NFTs involving Australian players.
“This is just the beginning and I have no doubt that we will see huge benefits for fans, players and the sport itself as we build this exciting partnership,” said the AC boss, Nick Hockley, in a statement.
Revenue will be shared between CA and former and current players, although details of the deal have not been made public.
“We are very pleased to team up with Rario, Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers Association to establish Australia’s first sports metaverse designed for the Australian cricket community,” said BlockTrust co-founder Mike Alexander.
Overall NFT sales have totaled around $11.8 billion so far in 2022, according to NFT research firm DappRadar, although the market has slowed in recent months.
Sales on OpenSea, the largest NFT marketplace, fell to around $2.5 billion last month after hitting nearly $5 billion in January.